Peak Design Capture V3 – Black

I’ve been a fan of Peak Design products since purchasing the clutch hand strap a couple of years ago. When Peak Design launched their kickstarter campaign for the V3, I decided it was time to give one a try.

For a while my go-to camera strap has been the Blackrapid series of straps, in particular the BlackRapid RS Sport strap (this has since been replaced with the Sport Breath strap). I’ve used this for carrying my Nikon D500 with anything from a 35mm prime lens all the way up to my 150-600mm Sigma.

When out photographing wildlife, the Blackrapid takes the weight of the Sigma 150-600mm and makes it comfortable to carry for extended periods of time. The problem I find with the Blackrapid strap is that it doesn’t play nice with a backpack. When I’m out shooting wildlife, I’m not normally wearing a backpack and any accessories I needs are in my pockets or a belt pouch.  However, the majority of the time I’m out with my camera I am either shooting landscapes or I’m out for the day doing touristy stuff  and for this I find a backpack essential.

I’ve tried wearing the Blackrapid strap under the backpack straps and after a while, the buckle on the back of the strap becomes very noticeable against my shoulder blade, especially if my backpack is particularly heavy with gear. This means I either need to keep the camera tucked away in the backpack, or in my hand while walking/hiking (not recommended over rough terrain). If it’s in the backpack, I often pass by photo opportunities, simply because I can’t be bothered to take off the backpack to get the camera out.

Enter the Capture V3.

This looked like the ideal solution for keeping my camera handy while hiking but also safe and secure. I signed up and pledged my cash to the kickstarter campaign.

When the Capture V3 arrived, I quickly unpacked it and set about attaching it to my main back pack which at the time was the Lowepro Pro Runner 350 AW. The first thing I found was that the Lowepro straps were both too wide and too thick for the capture clip. It is possible to squeeze the strap enough to get the clip around but the padding on the straps are too thick and the retaining screws for the capture clip are not long enough to secure it. I’ve since purchased a Peak Design Everyday Backpack, mainly to use as a day pack and to replace my Lowepro slingshot sling pack (which just wasn’t big enough to fit all I needed any more.

I really like the design of the Everyday Backpack (you can read my review here) and it’s now my main day pack when I’m not carrying too much gear or hiking too far. I figured since both were made by the same company they would work well together so I attached my capture to the backpack ready for a day out in Birmingham.

The destination was the museum. Dippy the diplodocus was touring around the UK and stopping off in Birmingham for a couple of days. For the trip there my camera stayed in my backpack. Once at the museum I took out the camera to take some shots and when I’d finished I put the camera in the capture clip and carried on walking around.

My main camera as I mentioned previously is the Nikon D500 and for this trip I was using the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lens. The combined weight of these is around 1.3kg a little bigger and heavier than most camera combinations but given the demo video used  Canon 5D MkIV and a 24-70 I figured it would be ok.

The first thing I noticed while wearing the backpack with the capture clip was that I could feel the clip pressing in to my chest and also chaffing at my arm as it moved back and forth while walking. When the camera was attached to the clip, this became noticeably worse. I also felt that the camera was uncomfortably close to my chin 

I had the clip mounted on the left shoulder strap just under the attachment loop. In retrospect, this may have been a little too high. After doing a bit of internet research and reading other reviews of the capture clip and peak design backpack, other users have found that attaching the clip lower down the strap. The common consensus seems to be to attache the sternum strap at the lowest position and then attach the capture clip immediately above that. Others also recommend purchasing the pro pad and using this to spread the force exerted on the chest from the clip and the attached camera.

I have since purchased the pro pad and intend to give it a try. Unfortunately at the time of writing  I have not had time to do so. I do intend to give the capture clip another try, but I have also purchased the Black Rapid Backpack Breathe camera strap which is specifically designed to be used with a backpack. You can also read my full review of the Backpack Breathe strap.

I’ll update the review once I’ve tried the suggestions above with the Capture 3.

Have a good one…

The weather was particularly good yesterday and it made a nice change to the rain and wind we’ve had this week. I decided it was a good chance to get some final preparation in for the 3Ds, so I finished work early and headed down to the wood. The weather held for the rest of the day and it was a really nice evening in the wood (if you ignore all the mosquitos).

For a practice round, I decided to shoot the bottom half of the EFAA course set out in our wood. I figured this would give me a good range of distances from 10 to 80 yards. I didn’t spend too much time on the 80 yard target as I assume there won’t be any targets over 60 yards at the 3Ds and if there are any around that distance there will only be a couple.

The practice went well, although it would appear my gap distances have changed recently. My 50 and 60 yards gap have moved and I now need to shoot 45 yards at 50. Not too much of a problem as long as I remember Smile

I’m putting good groups together at all distances between 20 and 50 yards which means the consistency is coming back to my form. It has been missing for a month or so and it’s good to have it back. The only cause for concern is the closer distances, around 15 yards or less. I still seem to be a bit erratic and occasionally I get a wild arrow. I’m not sure if this is panic or just that I’m not concentrating as hard because the target is right in front of me. Hopefully there won’t be many of those at the 3Ds either.

Time to pack and plan the journey down to Devon.

Have a good one.

When I’m developing websites, I usually run a test website in  a user directory on one of my web servers instead of setting up a new virtual host under the main web server. There are a couple of reasons for this, the main one is I don’t have to change anything in my httpd.conf. The web server is already set up with the right config to allow content in user directories, so all I have to do is create a new user.

The one thing I always struggle with, is the correct permissions on the public_html folder in the user directory. I can never seem to remember the correct process, if you add to this all the complications of SELinux, I always end up googling the solution. There are plenty of good articles out there on the internet already, but I can never seem to find them when I need them. That’s why I decided to write this post…

As I already said, my apache servers are usually already set up to server content from user home directories, but I’ve included the steps here for completeness.

Edit the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file and find the UserDir section.

  1. Comment out the UserDir disabled line
  2. Uncomment the ‘UserDir public_html’ line.
  3. Also uncomment the whole ‘<Directory /home/*/public_html>’ section until the ‘</Directory>’.

When you’re finished, your httpd.conf should look like the one below:

 # UserDir disabled

 # To enable requests to /~user/ to serve the user's public_html
 # directory, remove the "UserDir disabled" line above, and uncomment
 # the following line instead:
 
 UserDir public_html

 <Directory /home/*/public_html>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride FileInfo
 </Directory>

Now we need to make sure we have the correct permissions on the users home area. Let’s make sure the home area is only readable by the owner.

 # chmod 711 ~<username>

Now we’ll give apache the correct rights to read the users public_html folder.

# chmod 755 -R ~<username>/public_html/

Last of all we need to take care of SELinux to make sure apache can actually get the files from the user home directories.

# chmod 755 -R ~<username>/public_html/
# chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t ~<username>/public_html

If you made changes to the httpd.conf file, restart your web server.

#service httpd restart

That’s it, apache should now server pages from your user public_html folder.

I hope this saves you some of the headaches I’ve experience setting this stuff up…

 

If you’ve ever used an iPad or iPhone to connect up to an ipsec vpn endpoint, you’ll be familiar with this screen.

I’ve been using these connections for a while now, mainly connecting to Cisco ASA firewalls. I use these VPN tunnels for both personal and business requirements. In the past I haven’t been able to find a way to save the password, which means every time I want to connect to the VPN I have to type in my password. Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t do short passwords, so typing in a long complex password every time I connect is a huge pain in the ass.

Until recently, I though this was a problem in IOS and Apple’s need to be overly secure. It wasn’t until recently I found out this is actually a Cisco issue. It’s a security restriction put in place by default on the Cisco iPhone client and the Cisco VPN termination device, and the good news is that there is a fix!

If you want to enable the apple clients to save their password, add the following line to the vpn group configuration on your Cisco ASA/Pix:

Log on to the ASA/Pix and enter configuration mode:

PBS-WA-ASA5510# conf t
PBS-WA-ASA5510(config)#

Find the group policy for the the VPN group you want to enable saved passwords

PBS-WA-ASA5510(config)# group-policy vpnusers attributes
PBS-WA-ASA5510(config-group-policy)#

Add the config to allow saved passwords

PBS-WA-ASA5510(config-group-policy)# password-storage enable
PBS-WA-ASA5510(config-group-policy)#

et voila!

Users will be able to save the password on the IOS device. They will still need to enter it the first time they log in, but not for subsequent logins.

Hope you find this useful. Don’t forget to save your config…

 

My second competitive shoot of 2015 was at one of the courses I’ve come to hate. Before anyone bites my head off, there is nothing wrong with the course. It’s a very tricky, challenging course. I just hate it because a lot of it is out in the open and I find it very hard to judge any distances. I am however getting a bit better at it.

It was another cold morning, and there was still a lot of snow and ice on the ground when we arrived. I fired up the new hand warmers (see my previous post) and set about getting booked in and kitted up.

Once out on the course, I found it difficult to get going despite having spent a little time on the practice bosses. This is the second week running I’ve had this problem and I need to sort it out. I’m not sure if it’s the cold or lack of practice but I definitely need to work on it. The first three targets I scored 10, 10 and 14. That’s 14 points given up in three targets, something that you can’t afford to do given the level of the current AFB shooters. I did eventually manage to get going, and finished the first half of the course with a 16.3 average.

The second half of the course was a bit tougher than the first, with more targets out in the open. I had a shaky patch halfway around the second loop but thanks to some really good shots towards the end of the course I managed to finish the day with a score of 594 and 6 spots. The average was a little lower than I would’ve liked at 16.5, but given the fact that I don’t normally shoot well at Woodend I was happy with it and it was certainly better than my last performance here.

I mentioned the 6 spots earlier, and for good reason. They actually turned out to be important. Paul ended the day on the same score of 594, but more importantly only 3 spots. For the first time in a long time I’d managed to beat Paul, and on a course I don’t really like that much. 2015 is off to a good start.